: gunning cadillacs...is it worth it?

07-18-04, 11:22 AM
hey guys wassup...ive been browsing through these forums and i c that many of us take great pride in killing mustangs :lildevil: which is something i wanna experience myself too :bouncy:

however, when my dad bought me the car, he explained to me how cadillacs are real delicate cars and how racing one probably isnt the brightest idea. he told me how my uncle had an old-school eldorado (90 or 91) and my dad used to always mess around w/ it on the highway (pushing hard on the accelerator, making it downshift, etc.) and how its tranny locked up on him one day. my friend has a 99 lincoln town car and he does the same to his car and its tranny locked up on him a coupla times too. what im wondering is will it be ok for me to gun my car (96 sts) once in a while? ive had it for about 4.5 months and its been pushed all the way down only twice (once by me and once by my friend).

thanx :)


07-18-04, 12:12 PM
I don't know about "gunning" it, but WOTs are recommended to keep the rings freed up and the combustion chambers from building up excess carbon; a known fact on the Northstar engine. The excess carbon will cause knocking, more noticeable when cold. An excessive carbon build may need to be cleaned at a dealer by the use of solvents in the cylinders then vacuuming it out, followed by, you guessed it WOTs until it shows clean exhaust.

Normally a good safe place is the on ramp to the freeway. Floor it and let it shift when it wants to (about 6500 RPM). Get to at least 70 MPH. Be ready for the torque steer to pull the steering wheel, easy to control but if you are not used to it, it can be surprising. Donít worry about over revving the engine; the computer will have the transmission shift if you donít.

Glance in your rear view when safe as you are doing this. If you see dust or clouds of smoke you are way overdue to exercise this engine. A properly exercised engine (daily) will not produce any smoke or dust, and will tend to use less oil.

When exiting from the freeway or slowing down from a grade, shift the transmission into 3rd. Again this will tend to flutter the rings and keep them working freely.

These little exercises are fun and keep the engine working as designed. No offense, but as they say, "this is not your fathers car"; this is really a race engine dropped into a Cadillac.

Just be sensible where you open it up and get used to the power.


07-18-04, 02:57 PM
I agree with all that Growe said. My 95 sls has over 144k miles and it still howls when i go play on the local Bypass and I-16 here in Georgia. I may be a Grampa, but I don't need to act like one..LOL :woohoo:

STS 310
07-18-04, 07:40 PM
Tourqe steer sucks. I have never experienced it in my Caddys.

07-19-04, 12:06 PM
I wouldn't call her a racing engine but definatley high performance. I noticed when I first picked up mine that it smoked a bit and when I'd open it up it would toss a cloud, but that was due to the fact that it sat in inventory for 2 years with no driving. After many WOTs, a couple trips up to 130 ;) and 5k miles of highway driving in the last 2 months it runs smooth with no smoke. I've also noticed the amount of oil it burns has gone from 1qt/1000 miles to 1 qt/2000 miles or more as I haven't driven it enough miles to really know.

07-19-04, 02:33 PM
Read my many post about killing mustangs and yes the advice here is all good. Open her up once in a while and you will have a smoother running sts. BTW, the 1995/96 was the fastest of the STS's and the 96 STS which i have seems to be the best driving one as well. They seemed to have worked all the bugs out in the 96 model and it runs like a champ.


96 STS Owner

07-20-04, 11:54 AM
is driving 80 mph back and forth to work considered "exercising the engine"...Or do I really need to "floor it"..??

kdw :)

07-20-04, 01:41 PM
you need to floor it for a few a while.

07-20-04, 01:54 PM
I have this unfortunate aversion to driving over the speed limit. So would driving around in 2nd gear for a while, jumping from about 50 - 75/80mph do the trick? I accually don't think I hit redline but then I dont' know. I'll have to have a buddy watch it while I run up on the ramp and find out.

Also. None of this has any adverse affects on my Transmission? It might not hurt the engine but if my tranny blows... I'm up a smelly creek without a paddle.

07-20-04, 03:28 PM
I, too, have been wondering about that tranny question though I understand the 4t80E is a very rugged beast. I also wonder if you accelerate the death of your head gaskets with those therapeutic WOTs...My engine is apart now for the dreaded Timesert/gasket job and the heads and tops of the pistons are fairly choked with crud, most of which I'm told is normal. Once I get the girl back I'm torn between babying the tranny and burning the carbon off the pistons...maybe we should run a survey on Drive-it-like-you-stole-it vs Granny's pet...

07-20-04, 03:42 PM
I have this unfortunate aversion to driving over the speed limit. So would driving around in 2nd gear for a while, jumping from about 50 - 75/80mph do the trick? I accually don't think I hit redline but then I dont' know. I'll have to have a buddy watch it while I run up on the ramp and find out.....

Second gear WOT is the way I do it, either from a slow roll or a standing start. Let it scream to redline in 2nd and then let off the gas and let it compression brake down to 20 to 30 MPH. Repeat.

The transmission can handle it. The engine will love it.

07-20-04, 04:27 PM
WTF does WOT mean? ( I get the concept, but what does it stand for?)
Also, how do you get to the redline, in second gear, w/ an automatic?
OR, how to WOT, w/ automatic?...can't control when it shifts?

silly girl,
kdw ;)

07-20-04, 04:42 PM
Gear selector in "2" and wide-open-throttle (WOT).

07-20-04, 05:43 PM
Will the rings free up if WOT has not been used for many,many miles?? (my wife has driven the '99 Deville for 80k mi.)

07-20-04, 08:51 PM
Quadrasteer, yes it will work but it will take a little while and will need to be done regularly to keep it from comming back, ENJOY it :lildevil: and try not to get any tickets.

07-20-04, 10:28 PM
WOT = Wide Open Throttle aka WFO :)
If you are adverse to breaking the speed limit you don't have to worry about it. It will wind up to redline and shift 1st - 2nd well under 55 MPH (in drive or OD) at which point you can back off and still be under the speed limit.

07-20-04, 11:40 PM
woah woah woah

so you're telling me that in order to MAINTAIN my engine i have to stop babyin it once in a while? wow...trust me...im definitely NOT complaining :D

thanx a lot guys...


07-20-04, 11:42 PM
oh btw...will punching it/redlining it start to rid the tranny of its 'smoothness'? cuz i test drove a 96 sts with 88k miles on it b4 i got mine and it wouldnt shift as smoothly as mine (mine has 64.9k as of now)...if some1 can fill me in on some info on that, thatll be great :)

thanx again


07-21-04, 09:30 AM
Thtas a good question STS. I would really like to know that also.

07-21-04, 10:44 AM
Well in 5k miles of driving my 98 ETC i've noticed 3 things...

1) Tranny is beautiful in terms of shifting/accelerating if treated smoothly (i.e. under 2000 rpms the engine really doen't put out enough power to move the car so you have to smootly increase power to get smooth pickup) however I notice if you jab the gas a bit it skips 1000 rpm quickly and has a slight jerk to it.

2) When I first got the car at 68k it had essentially sat in dealer inventories for the past 2 years with no exercise so while it accelerated smoothly, the engine sounded a bit rough when I popped the hood, a few WOTs later and some nasty brown clouds in the face of some ricers and it purs with the standard V8 put put sound (although I've noticed it vibrating a bit under the hood and I think I've snapped/worn some motormounts which wouldn't surprise me with some of the snap accels I've done)

3) I now baby the car a bit more because of the potential HG issue and concern over excessive accelerations causing irregular heat patterns between the block and heads which would cause the bolts to pull a bit more potentially leading to premature HG failure.